City police are investigating two more robberies in which heavily armed thieves stole cash and jewelry. But police say the latest incidents are unrelated to a string of robberies committed by thieves wielding sawed-off shotguns.
About 4:15 p.m. yesterday, two gunmen, each carrying a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, walked into the Gold Rush Jewelry Store in the 200 block of N. Howard St.
"They said, 'Don't move' and 'Drop to the floor,' " said police spokesman Dennis Hill. "They jumped over the glass jewelry counter and one took gold necklaces out of a window display and the other took money from a cash register."
A third accomplice, who was outside acting as a lookout, shattered the window with a pipe, an apparent signal for the gunmen to flee, Hill said.
The manager and a customer were unharmed, Hill said.
About 6:15 p.m. yesterday, four men armed with semiautomatic weapons robbed Asian Food Inc. in the 5200 block of York Road, police said.
Three of the men went inside the store and one remained outside, Hill said. The three men tied the hands of two employees and one customer and took them to a back room, where they placed bags over their heads, he said.
The robbers took about $6,600 from a cash register and drawers in a back room, Hill said.
Meanwhile, the robber who remained outside took $3,000 from an arriving deliveryman, who was eventually taken to the back room and also tied up. The thieves placed a bag over his head, too.
When one employee failed to show the robbers a safe, he was pistol-whipped and kicked in the stomach. The man was taken to Union Memorial Hospital for treatment, police said.
The gunmen also fired shots in the ceiling and walls when the employee couldn't tell them anything about a safe, police said. The store does not have one.
After taking the money, the men fled in a gray van, police said.
Hill said the robberies do not appear to be connected to others committed over several months by shotgun-toting thieves who have hit banks, fast-food outlets and supermarkets.
"We think this is a copycat," Hill said. "They didn't have shotguns."